A Media Strategy Fit for a King (or Queen)

Looking for a brilliant media strategy?  Check out the House of Windsor.

The House of Windsor??? !  Hard to believe, but it’s true.

The British royal family has done a remarkable job of going from handling their public image in a bumbling, ham-fisted manner to a smooth as silk operation in just a few years.

Remember how badly the royals dealt with the death of Princess Diana (A good reminder came in the movie “The Queen”), where they totally misread how to respond to the public outpouring of grief?   That was emblematic of how they ignored the way they were portrayed in public.  And it went very badly.

They learned.

Since Diana’s death, the royal family has done an “extreme media makeover,” which has resulted in soaring public approval ratings.  For the Queen of England to play along with a James Bond actor at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics is perhaps the quintessential example of the changing media attitudes at the Palace.

And now, we’ve seen it again with the handling of Princess Kate’s pregnancy.

Clearly, William and the family were happy to leave any talk of an impending royal birth to the overly-sensational (and often wrong) tabloid headlines and hold the actual facts until a time they preferred.  However, when Kate’s severe morning sickness caused her to be hospitalized, the royal media team moved with lightning speed to get the story out, catching the British news organizations flatfooted and denying the tabloids a chance for a “scoop” along with endless speculation and privacy invasion.  They may not have liked the timing, but by acting as they did the royal family gave us a great lesson on how to control the message.  They recognized the importance of getting ahead of the news and presenting it in the way THEY wanted it to be reported.  They didn’t allow events to dictate how their story would be portrayed.

If you want to succeed in the media, it’s vital that you have a strategy — either officially or just in your head–  to control the way you present your message to the public.  If you don’t, begin right now by considering what it is about you and your business that’s important to get out.  You can never guarantee that your message will end up being exactly as you hoped, but by understanding the importance of being prepared and then reacting to whatever situation arises, you will have a great chance of achieving your media goals.   Just ask the royal family.

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